Imagine trying to navigate Medicare Part D if you don't speak English.

I couldn't resist. No offense meant - I do value your contrarian input on the comments.

RangelMD - how cutting physician reimbursement is actually increasing medical costs:

Ironically these Medicare cuts combined with anesthesiologist shortages may lead to increased salaries as hospitals, desperate to find someone to staff surgical procedures, increase subsidies and provide recruitment incentives. Most of this added cost will be passed on to private insurers and some to tax payers as increased medical care costs.

An interesting malpractice screening panel model in Louisiana:

A malpractice claim must first be filed with the state Medical Review Panel in Baton Rouge. The Louisiana Patients' Compensation Fund appoints an attorney chairman to oversee the process, said James Ryan, the lead attorney in the Patel cases.

Three doctors whose practice areas are the same as the doctor who is the subject of the claim make up the medical ...


Sticks and stones:

A Palm Beach Gardens grandmother, 64, filed suit Wednesday, accusing the retail chain of negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress for typing in its system in May 2003: "WATCH CONTROLS SHE SEEMS SHADY."

For nearly 20 years, Elizabeth Noah has patronized the Fairway Drive Walgreens near her home in PGA National, she said. So when the retired United Technologies financial analyst picked up a ...


Michigan is going to make women contemplating abortions the "option" of observing their fetal ultrasounds:

However it is framed, this sort of state nannyism is wrong. Making a doctor fill out one more form that has nothing to do with good medicine is ridiculous. Asking a woman who may be terminating a dangerous pregnancy to look at what she's losing is cruel.

A Masschusetts hospital withdraws life support on a 12-year old too soon. The recommendation? An ethics committee should review all cases in which a doctor requests to withdraw life support.

A physician should be able to make independent decisions regarding life support. A mandatory, intervening ethics committee is simply hospital CYA.

Did a plastic surgeon allow felons to conduct physical exams?

Godfather, M.D.:

In a bizarre incident in Bhagalpur on Friday, goons and musclemen of a local doctor thrashed an income tax team that had come to a private nursing home to do a survey and when the local media-men arrived to cover the incident, even they were beaten up by the doctor's "“ some of them receiving serious injuries, officials said.

Mass euthanasia in Japan:

Imizu City Hospital head Hidetsugu Asanoi told a news conference Saturday that the surgeon admitted turning off the respirators after only obtaining consent from the families of the seven patients - three women and four men in their 50s to 90s.

Ever wonder what sick building syndrome is?

63% of children in a single Virginia school district are diagnosed as having ADHD, says the USA Today. Some reasons:

This raises suspicions: Are some teachers using ADHD to control unruly students, particularly boys, who are naturally more rambunctious? Are parents seeking an edge for unfocused children who are struggling academically? Are time-pressed doctors handing out prescriptions based on little more than a 15-minute chat and a teacher's ...


BiDil isn't doing too well:

NitroMed's only product, BiDil, was introduced with much fanfare last year, after the Food and Drug Administration made it the first drug approved for use by a single racial group.

The American Heart Association officially designated BiDil as a major treatment advance after research indicated it could extend the lives of black heart-failure patients by 43 percent over 18 months. And some financial ...


Young age does not rule out a heart attack.

Congratulations Dr. Charles.

A word on comments

As you know, this blog evokes spirited discussion on hot-button medical topics. Many have written about the vitriolic nature of selected comments and asked me to "do something about it". Some thoughts:

1) I believe it goes against the spirit of a blog to moderate or censure comments (except for spam). The anonymous nature the comments gives people the opportunity to "tell it like it is". ...


Arrested for doctor shopping:

A Utah couple went on a shopping spree for prescriptions and now they're facing serious charges. The couple went to a doctor for pain they didn't have.

Joe Christensen: "They were both going to doctors separately and sharing the drugs."

Money-wise, this is the biggest case of prescription drug fraud investigators have seen, but the crime of 'doctor shopping' is happening more and ...


More support for a junk-food tax. Discussed here previously.

Beware of EMLA cream when going to medical spas:

The North Carolina Medical Board filed unprofessional conduct charges Thursday against a doctor who headed a laser hair removal clinic where a student died last year.

Shiri Berg, a 22-year-old North Carolina State University student, died of a Lidocaine overdose Jan. 5, 2005, after she applied a powerful anesthetic gel to her legs in preparation for a laser treatment ...


Instant gratification:

Some 42% of 18 to 29-year-olds told a survey for insurer they would miss a trip to the doctor as they did not want to wait for appointments.
And some wonder why appointments are so short. There is a cost to being on time.